Political developments in Nepal its internal matters, says India
India on Wednesday described recent developments in Nepal, including Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s decision to dissolve parliament and turmoil within the ruling party, as “internal matters” to be tackled within the neighbouring country’s democratic processes.
Nepal plunged into fresh political turmoil last week following Oli’s move to recommend the dissolution of the House of Representatives amid a worsening Covid-19 outbreak. President Bidya Devi Bhandari fixed general elections for November but the country has been rocked by political protests.
“We have taken note of the recent political developments in Nepal. We view these as internal matters of Nepal to be dealt by them under their own domestic framework and democratic processes,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said.
“As a neighbour and friend, India remains unwavering in its support for Nepal and its people on their journey toward progress, peace, stability and development,” he said.
India-Nepal relations have witnessed major ups and downs since Oli, 69, came to power in 2018 at the head of an alliance of leftist parties. His efforts to move Nepal closer to China while retaining ties with India didn’t go down well in New Delhi and bilateral ties were hit by a border row last year.
Nepal was irked when India opened a strategic road to Lipulekh on the border with China – a region claimed by Kathmandu. It responded by issuing a new political map that showed the areas of Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura, all within India, as Nepalese territories.
Back-to-back visits to Nepal by the Research and Analysis Wing and Indian Army chiefs and foreign secretary Harsh Shringla helped put ties back on an even keel, and foreign minister Pradeep Gyawali travelled to New Delhi late last year to co-chair a meeting of the bilateral joint commission with external affairs minister S Jaishankar.
Political parties have described Oli’s move to dissolve parliament as unconstitutional and nearly 150 members of the dissolved House approached Nepal’s Supreme Court on Monday to demand its reinstatement.
Madhav Kumar Nepal, a member of Oli’s CPN-UML party, and 22 other leaders of the party have endorsed the petition in the Supreme Court, setting the stage for a split in the CPN-UML. Oli has expelled Nepal and 10 more leaders from the party.